Grants continue support for Hampshire’s vulnerable families

Up to £100,000 will be set aside by Hampshire County Council this autumn to ensure that support for vulnerable Hampshire families can be extended beyond the end of the current phase of the nationally funded Supporting Families Programme, scheduled to finish in March next year

Sep 18 2019

The grants will ensure that key local initiatives which are working well, helping families to thrive, can continue. Community organisations currently working with local families as part of the programme, will be able to bid for grants up to a maximum of £20,000.

In approving the grant funding, Councillor Judith Grajewski, Executive Member for Public Health, said: “Hampshire’s Supporting Families programme has helped to turn around the lives of more than 7,500 families across the county since it began in 2012, with more than 2,500 of these experiencing significant improvement in their circumstances.

“While we were pleased to see indications from the Government, in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review, that there will be additional funding for the programme beyond March 2020, we do not, at this stage, know how much Hampshire, will receive. It is therefore imperative that we make our own arrangements to support local organisations who have been involved with the programme to continue their good work wherever possible.”

Hampshire’s Supporting Families Programme began in 2012, as part of a national initiative to support families facing multiple issues such as persistent unemployment, poor education, poor health, crime and antisocial behaviour, domestic violence and young people failing to thrive.

The programme takes a ‘whole family’ approach involving everyone in the family including grandparents, parents, young people and children. It allows families to build on their strengths while helping them to overcome some of the concerns, difficulties, challenges or obstacles they may have in their lives.

Independent evaluation by Solent University earlier this year, showed that not only were vulnerable families benefitting, but that the co-ordinated ways of working between agencies was positively transforming the way support is being delivered. In addition, between 2015-19, the help given to families to successfully get back on their feet, translated into savings or costs avoided of £27million to the public purse.

Councillor Grajewski continued: “Our programme which has brought together a wide range of Hampshire agencies including County and district councils, the Police, voluntary sector, Health and the Probation Service has transformed the way services are delivered to families across the county.  This has resulted in hundreds of families who might otherwise have faced a lifetime of disadvantage, now having a brighter future.

 “While there is always more to do, there is clear evidence that collectively, we are helping families to live more productive lives while reducing demand for high cost interventions from the county’s public services.”